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No sooner has a garden pond been dug, filled with water and planted all around than uninvited residents move in. At the beginning there are only a few and their presence is not noticed. But if you like the environment, there will soon be so many that you can't miss them. We are talking about all kinds of beetle and insect larvae. How can we get rid of the bugs quickly without messing up the rest of the wetland?

Pests in the garden pond

Various species of beetles and all kinds of insect larvae are an integral part of wet biotopes, whether they are natural or man-made. Beetles are usually to be found in the garden pond near the aquatic plants, only the eggs are laid and the larvae hatch in the water.

Some of them are considered pests in the home garden because they can cause great damage to pond plants and animals. Beneficial insects, on the other hand, only become harmful when their population gets out of hand. Nature itself strives for a balance, only if this is not the case can some types of insects develop into a plague.

Uninformed garden owners usually only recognize them as beetles or larvae, without knowing exactly what species they are. They are almost always unwanted. When it comes to deciding between combating or tolerating, however, clear identification is an advantage.

dragonfly larvae

While dragonflies are a beautiful sight with their long wings, the larvae cause headaches for pond owners with their diet. They live as predators, feeding on small fish, among other things. Once they hatch into dragonflies, they will leave the water, but until they do, they can do a lot of damage. However, there is only cause for concern if there are many larvae in the water.

  • there are dragonfly larvae and dragonfly larvae
  • both species have six legs but different body lengths
  • some dragonfly specimens are protected by law
  • therefore do not kill larvae
  • pull it out of the water with a scoop
  • if necessary bring it further away to a water point

The predatory activity of the pests is usually not consciously noticed by pond owners, which is due to the fact that they only hunt for prey at night. Therefore, grab a flashlight and hunt down the pests in the dark to combat them effectively. On your search for the larvae, also look between the plants at the edge of the pond, where they like to hide.

Caddis fly larvae

The appearance of caddis flies is reminiscent of moths. In the evening hours they make their rounds near the water to lay their eggs in it. Larvae hatch from the gelatinous structure, which are very voracious and are therefore considered to be one of the most dangerous pests in domestic ponds.

  • eat pond plants bare
  • start as soon as they hatch
  • chemical control is not advisable
  • other pond inhabitants would also suffer
  • collect early and get rid of it
  • goldfish and pond carp also eat these insect larvae

mosquito larvae

One annoying mosquito is enough trouble. It is even worse if you offer them an optimal breeding ground in your own garden. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. A garden pond is the best place to lay eggs that no mosquito can miss. The larvae hatch from countless eggs in a few days.

  • provide moving water and thus get rid of mosquitoes
  • for example with a fountain
  • this makes egg laying difficult

If, despite the precautions, many mosquitoes have dared to go to the water, you can try to fish off the laid eggs with a net. If that doesn't help enough, there are special protein tablets on the market that spare the other inhabitants of the pond. Under no circumstances should you resort to means that are recommended for rain barrels. When dosing these tablets, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Dytiscus beetle and its larvae

The lifespan of a yellow-spotted beetle is three years, most of which it spends underwater. Unlike other pests, the yellow smut beetle is a good swimmer.

  • the insect is about 5 cm tall
  • dark brown with a yellow border
  • Larvae resemble dragonfly larvae
  • are smaller though

Although this species of beetle feeds on ornamental fish in addition to tadpoles and newts, it is not necessary to combat it as it only eats sick and dead pond fish. The larvae even eat each other, so the population usually stays low.

tip: Only if the yellow smut beetle has multiplied too much in your pond can you take out a few specimens with the net and fight them effectively.

lily leaf beetle and larvae

If it were purely for its colorful appearance, this species of beetle would certainly land on lily pads at any time. But above all its descendants leave countless feeding passages on the upper side of the leaves.

  • is a non-swimmer
  • cannot get out of the water on their own
  • if he falls in, he'll drown

The fact that the water lily leaf beetle cannot swim can be used by the pond owner to combat it.

  • Submerge leaves under water
  • rinse off the leaves with a water hose
  • Cut off and destroy affected leaves

backstroke swimmer

The backswimmer is one of the pests because it over poisonous mouthparts has, with which he kills many fish. Control is difficult as this species of beetle flies to various nearby ponds on summer evenings.

  • large number leads to increased fish kills
  • a net stretched over the pond keeps the pests away
  • other solutions do not work

tip: You can also identify backstroke swimmers by spending time in the pond lying on their backs to help them breathe. The well-chosen name already gives it away.

water scorpion

A water scorpion is not a scorpion that lives in water. This misleading name actually hides a species of beetle. What connects him to the scorpion is not a family relationship, but his pincer-like front legs. He can use it to hold small fish and then bite. However, since he can't swim well, he has to ambush them at the edge of the pond.

  • clearly recognizable by its breathing opening
  • located on the spine at the end of the body
  • reminiscent of a snorkel

The activity of the water scorpion can be put to an end by keeping the pond water clean at all times.

tip: If you see small snorkels sticking out of the pond water, you can confidently fish out the pests by hand. This would mean that there would be a few fewer specimens at work.

Other beetle species and insect larvae

Billions of insects populate this world, the beetle family alone consists of more than 300,000 species. Some other species will also stop at your pond and leave behind their larvae than those described above. For example:

  • butterflies
  • mud flies
  • swamp snakes

As long as it stays at a few copies, no intervention is necessary. Otherwise, it must always be considered that any chemical agent used against them will also have a negative effect on all other living things in the pond. Fishing out with a landing net may be tedious, but in the end it is the most gentle method.

Pay attention to the biological balance

A garden pond often has to be very small for reasons of space. This circumstance does not make it easy for the newly created water world to quickly and independently achieve biological balance and maintain it permanently. Usually the owners want too much at once. Countless plants overgrow the pond. There are more fish in the water than the pond can handle. There are also impurities, such as fallen tree leaves, which the pond cannot deal with on its own. A pond owner should definitely heed the following care measures if he wants to avoid vermin:

  • Cut back rampant pond plants regularly
  • Fish out dead plant material immediately
  • combat heavy algae growth
  • do not use too much fish food
  • Use a pond filter and, if necessary, a mud cleaner
  • clean them regularly
  • Keep pond water moving
  • such as fountains
  • this provides oxygen and drives away some species of insects

Newly created ponds in particular take several years to establish an ecological balance. In the meantime, pests can cause one or the other problem that needs to be solved in good time.

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